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Posts Tagged ‘AFC Championship’

Perception Is Reality For The Chicago Bears

Posted by sportsmaven on January 27, 2007

Chicago Bears mania has totally engulfed the city of Chicago. I had arrived home from my business trip to Washington, DC and the cab driver that was driving me home begins talking about the Bears. He then changed the subject to something unrelated to sports, mainly my flight home and how we both like big planes over little planes because we feel safer in large planes. At this point, we both agreed that we didn’t know why we felt that way, for there is really no difference between a big plane and small plane. We PERCEIVE it to be safer, thus our perceptions become our reality.

The same thing can be said about the Bears being underdogs to the Indianapolis Colts and their perception that they are underdogs, their perception that nobody believes they can win, thier perception that the Bears get no respect, their perception is that Peyton Manning is a much better QB than Rex Grossman (well, maybe that one isn’t too far from reality) My point is at this juncture of the season, teams are looking for any edge to help them gain an advantage to help them win the game. The Bears did it superbly last week against the New Orleans Saints and it looks like this week and next, the media and all the pundits are lining up the Bears to feed off the underdog/no respect card once again.

The gap between perception and reality doesn’t have to be large, it just has to be sellable to motivate one team over the other. The media is making that gap larger and Lovie Smith and the Bears are using it to build one of the Bears most successful playoff season mottos: “Play Angry”. I like that and I like the Bears. Play with a chip on your shoulder and FINISH.

By the way, after the Colts won the AFC Championship in the biggest comeback in AFC Championship history, guess who was on the cover of this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated:

peytonmanning-1-26-07.jpg

The Saints last week and now the Colts? If this doesn’t bode well for the Bears, I don’t know what will……

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The Chicago Bulls DO Play Basketball In January, Well Kind Of…

Posted by sportsmaven on January 21, 2007

With the focus of the Chicago sports scene on the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship game and this weekend’s Cubs Convention, it is easy to forget that there are other Chicago teams in the midst of their season. The Bulls played the Utah Jazz tonight at the United Center before embarking on their NFC-AFC Conference Championship tour/roadtrip to Indianapolis to play the Indiana Pacers on Monday night. I’ve been trying to hold off on a Bulls post until after the NFC Championship game, but thought tonight would provide a great opportunity to ease into a long, somewhat ho-hum NBA season. I just wanted to see if I could work both the Bulls and the Bears into the same post successfully (I use the word successfully very loosely)

The Bulls, winners of three in a row coming into tonight, couldn’t hit the side of a barn. They shot 38.2% from the field, including 8.3% from three point range, and they did it ugly. They did out rebound the Jazz 46 to 43, mostly out of self defense. Utah got physical with the Bulls, turning this game into a half court scrum, as noted by the 54 fouls and 72 free throws combined.

This game essentially displayed some fundamental flaws of the current Bulls team. The Bulls lack an inside scoring presence, and it doesn’t look like that presence is going to appear anytime soon. When the Bulls perimeter game is off, like it was tonight, it makes it difficult to stay in games such as tonight’s. The Bulls also didn’t defend well down the stretch tonight. When it mattered, they couldn’t stop Mehmet Okur, Carlos Boozer, or even Derek Fisher from scoring key baskets and grabbing key rebounds. Now the Bulls go on the road to play a Pacers team that underwent an extreme makeover. (wouldn’t Al Harrington have looked good in a Bulls jersey right about now) The Bulls are a work in progress at the moment, and it shows in their night to night performance on the court.

As for that roadtrip, the Bulls plan to leave Chicago, by bus, just after 2pm CT today to avoid the traffic from the Chicago Bears/New Orleans Saints NFC Championship game, drive the 3.5 hours on a frozen interstate to pull into Indianapolis just in time to hit the traffic for the start of the Indianapolis Colts/New England Patriots AFC Championship game. If the Bulls play more games the way they did tonight, these might be the only championships they experience this season. At least they can say they were involved in two in one day.

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